The theme word for the summer is RUGGED – having or requiring toughness and determination.
Philippians speaks of a rugged faith, a faith that keeps its eyes on Jesus, on the prize that we have in Him. We’re exploring what a rugged faith looks like: how we get it, and keep following Jesus, even when times get tough. Will we have the spiritual determination to cling to our faith, follow Jesus and finish the race?
Have you or someone you love attended one of our camps at Kidder Creek? Located near the California-Oregon border, Kidder Creek is our outdoor adventure camp, taking students on unforgettable excursions in a spectacularly beautiful setting!
One of our campers’ favorite activities at Kidder Creek is white water rafting. Our experienced guides and counselors lead students over rapids down the Klamath River. Rafting provides many opportunities for teachable moments, where guides point out the many parallels between going down the river and living our daily lives.
One counselor tells the story of Winston, a sixth grade camper who came to Kidder Creek earlier this summer:
Winston came here with a group of kids from his youth group. He was so excited to be at camp! From the first day he was eager to try everything, and was especially excited to go rafting.
One of the most important lessons we learn on the river is how essential it is to listen to our guide. They are experienced navigating the river and know exactly what needs to be done to get through the rapids safely. As we floated down the river, our guide was calling out instructions to us, like “Paddle forward,” “Paddle backward,” or “Stop!” I was sitting in the front of the raft with Winston, and the whole first day I could tell that he was nervous listening to our guide. I could hear him questioning, “Should we really do that?” and “I don’t think that’s right.”
That night by the campfire I was talking with Winston about the idea of trusting our guide. I asked him if he trusted our guide and he said, “Yes,” which was surprising to me. We talked about what it means to trust someone and what that looked like on the river.
The next day I could tell he was nervous rafting again, but I said to him, “Remember what we talked about last night? What does it look like to trust our guide?” He eagerly responded, “Oh yeah! I remember!”
The rest of the day was great. Winston had a blast! That night around the campfire we talked as a group about trusting our guide. I asked the question, “How does trusting our river guide relate to life and Jesus?” I could see in that moment that Winston got it. He responded, “I need to trust Jesus as my guide!”
Through our experience of listening to an experienced river guide who knew how to get us to our destination safely, Winston could see how trusting and listening to Jesus was the best way to live life.
We are so grateful for our counselors and guides at Kidder Creek who lead students on these unforgettable journeys, teaching them valuable life lessons and showing them Jesus! Please join us in praying for Winston and the hundreds of other campers who came to Kidder Creek this summer, that they will know and understand that they can trust our ultimate guide through the rapids of life.